The New England Patriots have listed star tight end Rob Gronkowski as questionable, in what is a late addition to their Week 4 injury report against the Buffalo Bills. Gronk sustained a minor hip bruise in practice, but the questionable tag seems more like another game being played by Bill Belichick against the Bills.
We should fully expect Gronk to play on Sunday, even if he is limited in practice and listed questionable on the injury report. Without Kellen Winslow Jr., Gronk is the only good pass-catching tight end on the roster who is healthy. Even though the Pats have been using him to stay in pass block, he has a favorable matchup ahead against Buffalo. Their linebackers don’t cover nearly as well as they stop the run, and the Pats can use Daniel Fells and Michael Hoomanawanui to block for Tom Brady in twin-TE sets to give Gronk the targets he needs.
Even though it is easy to completely write off the injury, let’s see if anything develops negatively for Gronkowski going forward. I don’t anticipate that happening, but there are always gray areas of doubt.
Throughout all this, Wes Welker is the guy who stands to benefit the most against Buffalo. Not only are their LBs poor in coverage, but they have an unsettled situation at slot corner. With Julian Edelman out and Winslow gone, Welker stands to receive at least ten targets and should clear 100 receiving yards for the second week in a row. When he’s on the field, Brady always looks for him. He’s going to be on the field quite a bit on Sunday, that’s for sure.
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